After each mud run or obstacle race I compete in, you'll get my review and grades for each event to help you decide which ones you might want to sign up for. The following categories will be discussed:

1. COURSE- the design, venue, and setup of the race itself- how creative/ adventurous/ difficult the obstacles were, and obviously... how was the MUD?!?

2. FESTIVAL- all the fun beyond the actual race- the social atmosphere which usually includes food, beer garden, dj/ music/ concert, contests, vendors, and more during the after-party

3. SWAG- the included goodie bag and prizes up for grabs- all the "free" stuff that comes with price of entry and the quality of awards, shirts, and other giveaways

Feel free to use the search box to read up on any past topics you might be looking for.

CITY CHALLENGE, New York NY, 7/15/17

I'll be the first to admit I had major skepticism on what this race would be like, though they seem to be a steadily growing series based in the big market NY/NJ tri-state area.  Of course, my first anxiety starts by the fact that it is not a mud-centered OCR, which you might guess (how? haha) is something I usually gravitate toward.  I rarely run any type of road race, so the fact that this 3 mile course was primarily on pavement also had my ankles and shins a little worried.  But all in all, I was pleasantly surprised with the overall product that I had intended to do in years past, but had not yet toed their line until now.

1. COURSE-  Again, not my usual style of mountain graded, puddle stomping fun.  But with a decent number of (but mostly fairly easy) obstacles over the 5k distance, they get a thumbs up for keeping it from being purely a runners course- which there were quite a few of that mold at this non traditional OCR.  Elite heat has really only one significant task difference, besides requiring mandatory obstacle completion to continue onward, at the early cinder block carry station.  Being forced to carry not one but two partially filled cement blocks was a huge difference maker (and probably crushed the pure runner types who haven't done that type of training).  For the most part, the course was well staffed by volunteers and marshals, which had been a complaint in their past races.  The only hiccup might have been the ending run (and sandbag carry) through the stadium stair sections, where some turns were not marked or instructed, and even went right through the spectator areas, as that had the potential to be messy for those competing.  GRADE = B

2. FESTIVAL-  A good number of vendors, everything from other race series like the New England based FIT Challenge, to several branches of the Armed Forces, had some challenges and contests to collect swag.  As mentioned above, even though the race was confusing at the end going through the stadium, it was a great way for friends and family to spectate right in the middle of the action.  I also went back and cheered later racers, which was a blast!  GRADE = B

3. SWAG-  For the medal collector, this was a great add.  I liked their spinner style and the design itself, which I believe was created by OCR super-addict Sandy Hendrick.  The shirt is top quality tech material, but thank goodness there was no mud at this event after giving out white shirts!  And though I usually don't consider it true swag, their racer bib is actually one of my favorites I've worn.  I'm still waiting to see what other stuff might get sent out (OCRWC qualify!) after taking 3rd in the Elite race, as they didn't end up holding an awards ceremony on race day.  GRADE = A


OVERALL GRADE = B